Young People, Remember Your Grand Creator Now
“Remember, now, your Grand Creator in the days of your young manhood.”—ECCL. 12:1.
1. How does Jehovah express his confidence in his young worshippers?
JEHOVAH views Christian youths as precious and as refreshing as dewdrops. Indeed, he foretold that on the day of his Son’s “military force,” young men and women would “offer themselves willingly” in Christ’s service. (Ps. 110:3) That prophecy was to be fulfilled at a time when people in general were godless, obsessed with self and money, and disobedient. Yet, Jehovah knew that young people who worshipped him would be different. What confidence he has in you young brothers and sisters!
2. Remembering Jehovah involves what?
2 Imagine the joy that God must feel when he sees young ones remembering him as their Grand Creator. (Eccl. 12:1) Naturally, remembering Jehovah involves more than merely calling him to mind. It means taking action—doing what pleases him, letting his laws and principles guide us in daily life. It also means trusting in Jehovah, knowing that he has our very best interests at heart. (Ps. 37:3; Isa. 48:17, 18) Is that how you feel about your Grand Creator?
“Trust in Jehovah With All Your Heart”
3, 4. How did Jesus demonstrate trust in Jehovah, and why is it important to trust in Jehovah today?
3 The finest example of one who trusted in God was, of course, Jesus Christ. He lived by the words of Proverbs 3:5, 6: “Trust in Jehovah with all your heart and do not lean upon your own understanding. In all your ways take notice of him, and he himself will make your paths straight.” Shortly after his baptism, Jesus was approached by Satan, who tried to tempt him to accept worldly power and glory. (Luke 4:3-13) Jesus was not misled. He knew that true “riches and glory and life” are “the result of humility and the fear of Jehovah.”—Prov. 22:4.
4 Today’s world is ruled by greed and selfishness. In such an environment, we are wise to follow Jesus’ example. Keep in mind, too, that Satan will do anything to lure Jehovah’s servants off the cramped road leading to life. He wants to see everyone travel on the broad road that leads off to destruction. Do not be deceived by him! Instead, be resolved to remember your Grand Creator. Trust in him completely, and get a firm hold on “the real life,” which is both sure and near.—1 Tim. 6:19.
Young Ones, Be Wise!
5. How do you feel about the future of this world?
5 Young people who remember their Grand Creator are wise beyond their years. (Read Psalm 119:99, 100.) Because they adopt God’s viewpoint, they are fully aware of how dim this world’s prospects really are. Even in your relatively short lifetime, you young ones have no doubt seen fear and anxiety increase. If you are still in school, you have likely heard about pollution, global warming, deforestation, and similar problems. People are deeply concerned about these trends, but only Jehovah’s Witnesses fully understand that they are part of the sign that points to the end of Satan’s world.—Rev. 11:18.
6. How have some young ones been deceived?
6 Sadly, some young servants of God have let their guard down and have allowed themselves to lose sight of how short a time this world has. (2 Pet. 3:3, 4) Others have been lured into gross sin through bad associates and pornography. (Prov. 13:20) How sad it would be to lose God’s favor now that we are so close to the end! Instead, learn from what happened to the Israelites in 1473 B.C.E. when they were camped on the Plains of Moab, at the very threshold of the Promised Land. What took place there?
They Fell Near the Finish Line
7, 8. (a) What strategy did Satan use on the Plains of Moab? (b) What strategy is Satan using today?
7 Back then, Satan clearly wanted to prevent the Israelites from gaining their promised inheritance. After failing to have them cursed by the prophet Balaam, Satan used a more subtle strategy; he tried to disqualify them from being blessed by Jehovah. The seductive women of Moab were used to entice them, and this time the Devil had a measure of success. The people started to have immoral relations with the daughters of Moab and to bow down to the Baal of Peor! Although their precious inheritance, the Promised Land, was very close, some 24,000 Israelites lost their lives. What a tragedy that was!—Num. 25:1-3, 9.
8 Today, we are rapidly nearing a much better promised land—the new system of things. True to form, Satan is again using sexual immorality to corrupt God’s people. Moral standards in the world have fallen so low that fornication is considered normal and homosexuality is viewed simply as a matter of personal choice. Said one Christian sister, “It is only at home and at the Kingdom Hall that my children learn that homosexuality and sex outside of marriage are bad in God’s eyes.”
9. What might occur during “the bloom of youth,” and how can young ones deal with this?
9 Young people who remember their Grand Creator know that sexual intimacy is a sacred gift that has to do with life and procreation. Hence, they recognize that sexual relations should be enjoyed in the way that God directed—within the marriage arrangement. (Heb. 13:4) However, during “the bloom of youth”—the period when sexual feelings become strong and can distort one’s judgment—it can be a struggle to remain chaste. (1 Cor. 7:36) What can you do when improper thoughts enter your mind? Pray earnestly to Jehovah for help to focus on wholesome things. Jehovah always listens to those who sincerely turn to him. (Read Luke 11:9-13.) Upbuilding conversation can also help to refocus the mind.
Choose Your Goals Wisely!
10. What negative state of mind do we want to avoid, and what questions can we ask ourselves?
10 One reason that many young people in the world are unrestrained and live for fleshly pleasures is that they have no “vision”—no divine guidance or sure hope for the future. (Prov. 29:18) They are like the godless Israelites of Isaiah’s day who lived for “exultation and rejoicing, . . . the eating of flesh and the drinking of wine.” (Isa. 22:13) Instead of envying such people, why not reflect on the precious hope that Jehovah has set before his loyal ones? If you are a young servant of God, do you eagerly look forward to the new world? Do you make every effort to “live with soundness of mind . . . while [you] wait for the happy hope” that Jehovah has placed before you? (Titus 2:12, 13) Your answer will influence the goals and priorities that you set for yourself.
11. Why should young Christians who are still in school work hard?
11 The world wants young people to focus their energies on secular goals. Naturally, those of you who are still in school should work hard to get a good basic education. After all, your aim is not simply to find suitable employment but also to be an asset to the congregation and a productive Kingdom proclaimer. To that end, you need to be able to communicate well, to think logically, and to reason calmly and respectfully with others. Still, young ones who study the Bible and strive to apply its principles in their lives get the best education available and lay a fine foundation for a successful and everlasting future.—Read Psalm 1:1-3. *
12. What example would Christian families do well to imitate?
12 In Israel, the education of children by their parents was a high priority. That education covered virtually every facet of life, especially spiritual matters. (Deut. 6:6, 7) Hence, young Israelites who listened to their parents and other God-fearing older ones gained not only knowledge but also wisdom, insight, understanding, and thinking ability—rare traits that divine education can provide. (Prov. 1:2-4; 2:1-5, 11-15) Christian families today should pay similar attention to education.
Listen to Those Who Love You
13. What kind of advice do some young people receive, and why should they be cautious?
13 Young ones receive advice from all kinds of people—including school guidance counselors, who usually think purely in terms of success in the secular world. Please weigh all such advice prayerfully in the light of God’s Word and the spiritual food provided by the faithful and discreet slave class. From your study of the Bible, you know that the young and inexperienced are a prime target of Satan. For example, in the garden of Eden, inexperienced Eve listened to Satan, a stranger who had shown not a hint of love for her. How different the outcome would have been had she listened to Jehovah, the one who had proved his love for her in many ways!—Gen. 3:1-6.
14. Why should we listen both to Jehovah and to believing parents?
14 Your Grand Creator loves you too, and he does so in a way that is absolutely pure. He wants you to be happy forever, not just now! Hence, with the tenderness of a caring parent, he says to you and to all who worship him: “This is the way. Walk in it.” (Isa. 30:21) If you have believing parents who truly love Jehovah, you have an additional blessing. Respectfully listen to their counsel when setting priorities and goals. (Prov. 1:8, 9) After all, they want you to gain life, something far more valuable than wealth or prestige in this world.—Matt. 16:26.
15, 16. (a) What confidence can we have in Jehovah? (b) What important lesson do we learn from the experience of Baruch?
15 Those who remember their Grand Creator keep their life simple, confident that Jehovah will “by no means” leave them “nor by any means” forsake them. (Read Hebrews 13:5.) Because this wholesome attitude runs contrary to the thinking of the world, we must be careful not to let the world’s spirit influence us. (Eph. 2:2) In this regard, consider the example of Jeremiah’s secretary, Baruch, who lived during Jerusalem’s difficult last days leading up to the city’s destruction in 607 B.C.E.
16 It may be that Baruch wanted to make a better life for himself materially. Jehovah noted this and kindly warned Baruch not to keep seeking “great things” for himself. Baruch proved to be humble and wise, for he listened to Jehovah and survived the destruction of Jerusalem. (Jer. 45:2-5) On the other hand, Baruch’s contemporaries who did acquire “great things” materially, putting Jehovah in the background, soon lost all at the hands of the Chaldeans (Babylonians). Many also lost their lives. (2 Chron. 36:15-18) Baruch’s experience helps us to see that a good relationship with God is much more important than wealth and prominence in this world.
Look to the Best Examples
17. Why are Jesus, Paul, and Timothy fine role models for Jehovah’s servants today?
17 To help us along the path to life, God’s Word provides us with many fine role models. Jesus, for example, was the most gifted human who ever lived, yet he focused on that which would help people forever—“the good news of the kingdom.” (Luke 4:43) In order to give Jehovah his best, the apostle Paul abandoned a promising career and used his time and energy to preach the good news. Timothy, “a genuine child in the faith,” imitated Paul’s fine example. (1 Tim. 1:2) Did Jesus, Paul, and Timothy regret their course in life? By no means! In fact, Paul said that he regarded what the world has to offer as “a lot of refuse” compared with the privilege of serving God.—Phil. 3:8-11.
18. What big changes did one young brother make, and why does he have no regrets?
18 Many Christian youths today imitate the faith of Jesus, Paul, and Timothy. For example, one young brother who used to have a well-paying job wrote: “Because I live by Bible principles, I soon received promotions. Despite the financial benefits, I felt that I was striving after wind. When I approached the company’s executive committee and expressed my desire to pursue the full-time ministry, they hastily offered me generous financial options, hoping I would stay. But my mind was made up. Many people could not understand why I left a lucrative career to pursue the full-time service. My answer is that I truly want to live up to my dedication to God. Because my life is now centered on spiritual things, I have a measure of happiness and contentment that no amount of money or prestige could give me.”
19. What wise choice are young ones encouraged to make?
19 Worldwide, thousands of young people have made similar wise choices. So, young ones, when pondering your future, keep Jehovah’s day close in mind. (2 Pet. 3:11, 12) Do not become envious of those who are making the most of this world. Rather, listen to those who truly love you. Storing up “treasures in heaven” is the most secure investment you can make and the only one with everlasting benefits. (Matt. 6:19, 20; read 1 John 2:15-17.) Yes, remember your Grand Creator. As you do, Jehovah will bless you.
Can You Recall?
• How do we demonstrate trust in God?
• What is the very best education?
• What lessons can we learn from Baruch?
• Who serve as fine role models, and why?
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Jehovah provides the very best education
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Baruch listened to Jehovah and survived Jerusalem’s destruction. What can you learn from this example?